Haves and have nots must find a better way: The case for open scientific hardware

PLoS Biol. 2018 Sep 27;16(9):e3000014. doi: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000014. eCollection 2018 Sep.


Many efforts are making science more open and accessible; they are mostly concentrated on issues that appear before and after experiments are performed: open access journals, open databases, and many other tools to increase reproducibility of science and access to information. However, these initiatives do not promote access to scientific equipment necessary for experiments. Mostly due to monetary constraints, equipment availability has always been uneven around the globe, affecting predominantly low-income countries and institutions. Here, a case is made for the use of free open source hardware in research and education, including countries and institutions where funds were never the biggest problem.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Access to Information
  • Education
  • Research
  • Science*

Grant support

AMC was supported by the Levelhulme Trust (Sir Philipp Leverhulme Prize 2017 for biological sciences awarded to Tom Baden). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.